Lawn Franchises - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Zimbo, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Zimbo

    Zimbo LawnSite Member
    from La.
    Posts: 7

    Does anyone have any input on Lawn Franchises... Good/Bad?
     
  2. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Good if you can get/ retain good employees. Bad if not.
    *I have no experience in franchises, but
     
  3. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    ... I accidently hit 'enter' and cut myself off.. I have two employees and know first hand that a business is only as good as its best employees. If you can build a franchise, secure the capital and necessary assets, labor, etc., you can probably be successful.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Matt.
     
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I have been building a franchise model or the last 5-7 years. It solves the labor problem by providing a great hiring process. I would expect any good franchise to do the same. A good franchise will save you years of trial and error. The question is if you have the $$$ to purchase a franchise why are you looking at lawn care?
     
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,466

    I hate USlawns.
     
  6. Even Cut Lawn Care

    Even Cut Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 645

    What is that based on? Have you dealt with them on some level? I subcontract to them and maintain Bank Of America properties for them. It works great for me.
     
  7. Zimbo

    Zimbo LawnSite Member
    from La.
    Posts: 7

    Yes, I was once in the business, and really enjoyed it... I am in a good position to start my own business and I am considering different options. I have done some research, and being able to jump into the lawn business, running is enticing to me, that is why I am considering buying a franchise. I have been in outside sales for over 7+ years, and I have alot of business contacts, so I am confident that I can quickly get new business. However I am very interest in hearing all the good and bad in regards to franchises, so that why I am posting this thread. I have heard alot of positive things from, of course the individual franchisees and management at the franchise. But have not heard that many valid bad reasons from outside sources.
     
  8. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 616

    Although I am independant, I did work for a franchise operation for some time before venturing out on my own.

    Their sytems and business models work most of the time, and could save you from additional expenses associated with learing it the hard way. Now if you are prepared to pay for that edge, and have no problem continuing paying for it in royalties, and be told what and how to do things, then a franchise may be right for you. Similarily, if you know how to do the work, yet dont know how to get the work, or manage a business, there may be value in a franchise system.

    Some agreements include a mandatory growth in your business, say 10% yearly. I know of one guy who was very comfortable at 2.5 million a year in sales and didn't feel the need to continually grow his company. He ended up getting his franchise pulled from under him, with no legal or financial recourse, simply because his direction was against the grain.

    The only person who wins in a franchise situation is the franchisor, charging an upfront fee for the priveledges, and charging a monthly fee based on your gross for the continued supposed support. When you decide to get out of the game, or if you fail, he simply resells the territory and starts all over again. I have heard of many horror stories, none of which i am willing to share on this open forum. It is for those reasons, and others, I have opted to remain independant, and keep the money in my pocket.
     
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Its all about the greed. Most franchises don't do enough and ask for too much of the pie. I would add that people seeking to buy franchises often don't know what to look for, what questions to ask. So they should bear some of the responsibility for not doing their due diligence.

    But most of the knuckleheads in the industry are also so stinking tight and dumb they would rather have 100% of the 3-400K volume they do after 10 years of work and thousands more in mistakes than a franchise would have cost than 94% of 1-mil volume in 2-3 years :dizzy:
     
  10. Zimbo

    Zimbo LawnSite Member
    from La.
    Posts: 7

    Az, I agree with you 100%... To me, putting the money up to buy the franchise and giving a small percentage back, is not the risk... The risk is trying to do it all on my own and failing. The franchise fee is what I would spend for a entry employee for a whole year, and the 5% royalties is just the cost of doing business. Again, I know i am sounding like I am already sold on this, so I would really like to hear some of the horror stories I keep hearing about. Johnny Royale mentioned he knew of a franchise that was taken away because the guy didn't want to grow his business. Well, if you don't want to grow your business you shouldn't be in business... Sell it, and walk away with some Cash... I have owned my own business before, and No matter what industry you are in, you have to answer to someone. In the end, isn't the goal to retire. For me, I want to build it up and sell it, because I don't want to work forever...
     

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